Feature: Unreliable Narrator (2019)

Though the raucous punk of Pittsburgh band Unreliable Narrator’s debut LP – Old Man Yells At Older Man, self-released this month by the quartet – owes a lot to ’70s punk and ’80s hardcore, its message-minded blasts of noise are definitely cut from the cloth of 2019. Take, for example, frontman Clint Benjamin’s take on the Trump-era…

Profile: Flower Crown (2019)

What was Pittsburgh musician Richie Colosimo listening to while his band, Flower Crown, tracked dream-pop single “High Fantasy” at Mr. Small’s recording studio in October? Black metal, of course – why do you ask? “I know they’re kind of polar opposites but the things I’ve always liked about [black metal] are the walls of sound…

Concert Review: Tool (2019)

The prog-metal quartet Tool exudes context, from its rich LPs, full of epic songs and epic phrasings, to its historiography as a band, which is ripe, unfortunately, with legal headaches and more than its share of silence. (More than a decade passed between the band’s last and newest LPs.) But the group largely avoided the…

Video Premiere: The Venus Flytraps – “Ghost on the Phone”

Just when you thought Halloween couldn’t get any stranger, Cleveland band The Venus Flytraps is releasing a visual single featuring two tracks from its debut album Night of The Venus Flytraps. The video premieres today on MusicTAP. Both tracks were recorded straight to 1/4 inch tape in a Cleveland living room through a haze of VHS sleaze and…

Profile: The Commonheart (2019)

Pittsburgh’s The Commonheart doesn’t sound like it belongs in 2019. There are the surefire signs, of course – the reverby chikka-chikka of Stax-style soul guitar, yes, as well as bobbing bass scales that hint at Chicago’s electric blues and the nostalgic trill of Hammond organs. Then, there’s the man at the center of the nine-person…

Feature: Record Store Day, Black Friday (2019)

Here are my top three picks (well, four, technically) for what to keep an eye on when fingering through vinyl on Record Store Day: Black Friday.  Frank Zappa – Peaches En Regalia Even in death, Zappa remains a vinyl God. UMe on Record Store Day: Black Friday is set to release a 10-inch picture disc…

Profile: Revival Choir (2019)

Sean Atkins understates things.  His band, Revival Choir, quietly released its debut LP, Finn, in September. Nobody ever shot-gunned out press releases, blitzed social media or even threw a release party. “Some people were like, ‘You gotta build it up. You gotta start a ground-swell,’” says the Pittsburgh singer-songwriter, whose day job involves accounting. “I got…

Video Premiere: Rachel Grimes – “For So Long”

Rachel Grimes is a Louisville-based musician who was a founding member of post-classical chamber ensemble Rachel’s (incidentally, not named after her) and, since the mid-2010s, has been staking a bold claim as a composer to watch. Today, as the world debates whether Columbus “discovered” America or merely raided it, we here at MusicTAP provide the…

Concert Review: Melvins (2019)

Melvins know no years. They’re just too fucking good to be bothered with them. So, seeing the trio, now nearing its fifth (!) decade in existence, destroy a stage live is a bit like hovering above the historiography of it all. All content, no context. The trio – Buzz Osborne, Dale Crover, and Steven McDonald…

Profile: Rachel Grimes (2019)

It starts, appropriately, by rolling on the seams of piano keys. “There is something/ got ahold of me/ and it won’t let go,” the singer coos, among a forest trail of piano and upright bass that leads to a clearing of strings. The whole thing then expands orchestrally, with the thrust of the musical diaphragm…